IFLA Strategy 2019-2024: New strategy for a global united library field
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) presented the new, five-year strategy for the global library community, IFLA Strategy 2019-2024, as part of its latest annual congress, IFLA WLIC 2019, held from 24 to 30 August 2019 in Athens.
The Strategy was developed based on IFLA Global Vision, the Federation’s successful international campaign, launched in March 2017 with the aim of setting out guidelines for the global library community with regard to present-day social challenges, as well as enabling as many librarians from all around the world as possible to take part in developing the vision of future librarianship. Over 31,000 participants from 190 countries contributed to drawing the campaign’s conclusions as the first step towards the transformation of the global library community.
The Strategy highlights the need for building up of a strong and united global network of librarians as a means for coordinating their efforts in rising global literacy rates, improving access to information and better including the general public in socially relevant decision-making processes, the attainment of which objectives would also greatly contribute to a successful implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 and its sustainable development goals. The strategic guidelines focus on ensuring that libraries become better recognised as globally relevant social institutions (Strengthen the Global Voice of Libraries), further advancing library practices (Inspire and Enhance Professional Practice), strengthening the global library community through building up a closely connected world network of libraries (Connect and Empower the Field) and introducing organisational and structural modifications to maximise the full potential of every library, in terms of human resources, as well as from the material, logistic and technological point of view (Optimise our Organisation).
The Strategy’s 16 key initiatives, laid out within four strategic fields, place particular emphasis on the significance of strengthening the social status of libraries as the key partners to governments and other bodies of public administration in achieving social development, as well as on the importance of raising public awareness and the awareness of government officials and decisionmakers of the important social role of libraries, with the aim of improving their legal status and overcoming obstacles to ensuring financial resources necessary for their activity and advancement in the future. Singled out as the principal drivers of the improvement of library activity at the international level are further adjustments of library services to new technologies, closer cooperation and more efficient networking between libraries, and optimisations in the organisation of library activities aimed at enabling the full exploitation of the professional competences and personal potential of as many librarians as possible.
IFLA presented its new strategy as a framework whose value it will be possible to assess only through its implementation, which should be realised through the same means that were used in securing its foundation – through active participation of every single library and every single librarian.